Stanley Portal Hyatt (1877 – 1914) was an English explorer, engineer, hunter and writer. After a stint on a sheep station in Australia, Stanley left in 1897 for Bulawayo in Rhodesia, to seek his fortune in the new gold mines. There, Stanley and his brothers, Malcolm and Amyas signed contracts as mine engineers to stay in Matabeleland for two years. Soon disillusioned with this, he bought a wagon and donkey and trekked away to the unknown districts on the borders of Portuguese East Africa, merchant trading and hunting. With his brother, Amyas, he set up a trading post and by the end of the Boer War they had made a fortune, which included thirteen thousand acres of rubber-growing land granted them by the Portuguese Government. However, his business was eventually ruined due to the cattle disease, East Coast fever, then known as African Coast fever.
After losing everything, Hyatt turned his hand to writing and had success with his first novel, 'Marcus Hay', so started writing boys story books about his adventures. By 1910 he became ill as a result of his travels and was addicted to morphine and finally died of tuberculosis in 1914.
Off The Main Track by Stanley Portal Hyatt (1921) is an account about the author's life as a transport rider during the pioneering days of Rhodesia. Free eBook
The Northward Trek by Stanley Portal Hyatt (1909). This book is about the history and events during the "forward movement of the white races from the southernmost point of the Dark Continent towards Central Africa, may be said to have begun when the first Boer found his way round to the back of Table Mountain, and it has gone on ever since. It will be finished only when the two sections of the Cape-to-Cairo line join somewhere by the sources of the Nile". Free eBook
The Diary Of A Soldier Of Fortune by Stanley Portal Hyatt (1910) is about Hyatt's "Experiences as Engineer, Sheep Station Hand, Hunter, Trader, Transport Rider, Labour Agent, Cold Storage Engineer, Explorer, Lecturer, Pressman, American Soldier, Blockade Runner, Tramp."Free eBook
The Old Transport Road by Stanley Portal Hyatt (1914) is an interesting and very readable account of early expansion of transport in southern Africa, in the days of the ox-wagons and the transport rider.
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